Coffee and cigarettes…

December 31, 2008

they grow up fast…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 10:00 am

Last night was business as usual with Miss Kidd – our usual dinner-and-wandering-and-talking routine. But she’s starting to add twists of her own.

So we’re at Steak ‘n Shake, cuz chili goes well with sinus infections for reasons I can’t fully elaborate on, and as we’re wrapping up the meal, Miss Kidd reaches across the table and grabs the check from me.

“I got this.”

Just a very matter-of-fact statement.

Rather than argue with her, I just said I’d cover the tip, which she accepted as fair.

I hung back a bit and watched her as she walked up to the counter, paid the tab (while giving me a sidewise glance and a smile) and bantered with the cashier a bit. I have a hard time looking at her and not seeing the hyperkinetic bouncy-ball she was not so long ago. The fiercely determined little imp who made three words — “No, *I* do!” — sound like a death threat covered in inches-thick layers of cute.

But she’s not those things anymore. At 12, she’s already taller than my mother, my girlfriend and my BFF. (I really do need to stop watering her.) While she isn’t drop-dead model gorgeous, she is definitely a very pretty young lady, and will be even moreso after puberty finishes rebuilding her for adulthood. The intellect is still there, the fierce determination even moreso… time is doing nothing but adding more weapons to her feminine arsenal.

She’s not a little girl anymore… and I have to say I’m pretty fond of the woman she’s growing into.

And maybe just a bit fond of myself for having had a hand in making her into who she is, and who she’ll be.

December 29, 2008

yay! new addiction!

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 3:07 pm

Well, OK, it’s new to me. Most of you are about to go “geez, you’re kidding, right? that’s so 5 years ago”.

I have been Borged into the Guitar Hero cult.

So far… well, “suck” is a polite term. I have yet to achieve better than 90% completion on anything, even in Easy mode. (In Medium, I’ve hit a brick wall I call “Fat Lip” by Sum41.) It’s interesting, challenging and frustrating… but also, I’m at a bit of a handicap for playing, so the frustration isn’t all of the good/motivating kind. Between arthritis and just enough nerve damage to piss me off, my pinkies won’t fire on cue – they’re a good quarter-second behind the others, and even when they do, it’s often not quite strong enough to trigger the fret button.

Any recommendations for exercises I might do to improve on this?

win some, lose some

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 12:28 pm

So there’s been some reconsideration here at the Fun Factory, and it seems I won’t have to go to Missouri in January as previously thought.

Instead, it’s looking like mid-to-late February.

Known affectionately in the midwest as “oh, you thought winter was over? oh, do we have a surprise for you…”

So… yay, and argh, all at once.

December 22, 2008

the weekend, in brief

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 9:53 am

Quick hits from around the league…

  • Dad’s home from the hospital. Notable only in that he really shouldn’t be just yet.
  • Spent most of the weekend with AB, and it was gloriously domestic. Banana-nut pancakes with chocolate chips for the absolute win.
    • Bacon and nakedness – you’d think they don’t go together, but they do. Really.
  • As usual, something comes up that throws the best-laid plans out the window and skeet-shoots them on their way to the ground. As ever, we will adapt, improvise and overcome. We just won’t like it.
  • I’m on my own here at the fun factory this week. Bossman has leftover vacation days and needs to use them up.
  • Still to do… finish acquiring and/or finding presents for the fole wham damily, wrap, prep for the Xmas-day drive-a-lot marathon, try not to kill anyone here at the fun factory, and oh, yeah, eating and sleeping at some point might be nice.


December 18, 2008

strange luck, stranger fate…

Filed under: we need... a purpose — techrat @ 11:48 am

Long-time readers of my random scribblings will recognize this from back in 2000, when I originally scrawled it out in a fit of insomnia-powered rambling and posted it to a couple of the writing groups I was involved with at the time as sort of a “holy crap, dude, life just kicked me in the ass” thing.

For the rest of you… I present one of the few reasons I’m willing to tolerate this time of year. It reaffirms my belief in real magic, fate, luck and the fact that little things often have bigger results than anyone’s biggest or best efforts.


December 17, 2008

on the mend… but only just so

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 11:50 am

Went and saw my father last night, down at Bay Pines. As it was a Tuesday, I had Miss Kidd along with me. I have no idea how much or how detailed this will be, so I’ll stick most of it behind the cut here.


December 15, 2008

the hellidays have begun…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 9:21 am

Got the annual “are you coming for Christmas?” call from my grandmother, and during our chat she shared that my dad was once again in the hospital. Ignoring the fit of pique I got from finding this out from her and not my mother (who you’d expect would call to let me know these things, right?), she drops the bomb that this time, it’s another Christmas amputation.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the doctors decided that the only way to keep my dad alive was to take one leg off just below the knee. His having diabetes, and not taking all that good care of himself, has done the same thing to the remaining leg that led to the original one being amputated.

The worst part of it all? I feel like hell because my first thought was hoping, just a little, that perhaps he’d fade away under anesthesia this time and not hurt anymore. Not “will he be ok?” or “this must be awful for him to face” but just “hasn’t he suffered enough already?”

I feel like I’m the most horrible son a father could have. And given his and my history, that’s saying something.

December 11, 2008

time for the monthly rah-rah

Filed under: things we hates — techrat @ 10:10 am

Came in this morning to find the monthly “state of the company” address was about to start.

Our bonus structure is tied to several things – profitability, naturally, but also things like safety, on-time delivery and such. Thanks to a few ‘incidents’ including a recent one where someone put his hand through a table sander, we’ve lost the safety points. We’re on track to get about half of the overall bonus allocation percentage, though, if we can maintain through the end of the month.

Other than that… we’re in as good of shape as one might expect given the economy. Lots of future business is now in a nebulous state, as financing (specific to our industry, financing for construction) has, obviously, taken a huge hit of late. We’re usually booked solid 2-3 months in advance… so far, January is only 90-something percent booked.

Am I worried? No more than usual. This company’s been around for 30 years – it survived Carter’s recession as a startup. (Part of the rah-rah was service awards – this month, one gal hit 29 years.) But all the same, I’m still keeping an ear to the ground. Survival traits die hard…

December 2, 2008

Why, yes, I’d like some cheese to go with this whine…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 1:28 pm

I don’t wanna go to Missouri in January! That’s just… evil.

The Fun Factory is shipping me off to a place about an hour outside KCMO for training on the new system we’ll be using to control job creation and parts pattern files for the giant arm-eating machinery. It’ll be a fun-filled week, I’m quite sure.

But, at least, it did settle one thing that’s been on my mind. I dropped both registered classes for the spring term… missing a week that early in the term tends to become unrecoverable, especially in as intense a subject as Statistics (where I will likely have to actually work, as opposed to the achieve-without-effort Tao effect I’ve been working with to date).

So we now will be diverting that tuition funding toward certification testing instead. I need to add some letters after my name so I can find something that pays a lot better than the Fun Factory does. This being broke crap sucks.

December 1, 2008

my ipod hates me

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 5:55 pm

I almost got thrown out of my exam tonight, because of my ipod.

They’re allowed during this prof’s tests. But it made me laugh my ass off rather disruptively.

I got RickRolled by my ipod.

Bonus: tonight’s test? On the endocrine system, circulatory system, and the heart.

Which Rick is never gonna break.

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